Patience would prove crucial for the Carolina Panthers if a recent mock draft from NBC Sports became reality in 2023.
It’s no secret that the Carolina Panthers are in dire need of quarterback assistance this offseason. No longer can the team rely on suspect veterans – this is the time to find a long-term solution to a problem that eventually got Matt Rhule fired among many other things.
The coaching staff in place makes this a sound environment for any rookie to learn and grow. Carolina is reportedly out of the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes, so going down the draft route is their only viable option for much-needed stability under center.
This seems to be the general consensus and one that will provide legitimate hope for the future. But at No. 9 overall, sitting around and waiting for things to unfold in front of them is not an option.
Multiple reports suggest that the Panthers were extremely aggressive at the NFL Scouting Combine on all fronts. One of these is potentially working out a trade up to No. 1 overall or No. 3 in pursuit of securing their prospect of choice.
Something could happen relatively quickly with other quarterback-needy teams also lurking. But a situation could emerge where the Panthers wait until draft night and see what unfolds.
Carolina Panthers land C.J. Stroud in NBC Sports mock draft
This is a topic recently discussed by Adam Hermann of NBC Sports in his latest mock draft. The writer tipped the Panthers to strike with conviction and move up to No. 6 overall, beating the Las Vegas Raiders to secure the services of C.J. Stroud out of Ohio State.
“Another trade! Carolina moves up and swaps spots with the Lions to jump ahead of the Raiders, nabbing C.J. Stroud as their QB of the future. I like Stroud’s combination of polish and potential. He completed nearly 70% of his passes in two years as a starter, has good size and ball placement, and gets to work with new head coach Frank Reich. At long last, some stability at QB in Carolina.”
Stroud is one of the consensus top-two quarterbacks entering the league this year. The prospect has all the tools needed to become a Day 1 starter, which was further enhanced by his college football performance against Georgia and a throwing masterclass at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The chances of Stroud making it this far down the pecking order are slim. But much will depend on whether a team thinks highly enough of Anthony Richardson to make a feast-or-famine move and select him in the top five.
The Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Las Vegas Raiders appear to be the biggest competitors for quarterbacks in the top 10. One couldn’t dismiss the notion of the Atlanta Falcons also getting involved despite their apparent faith in Desmond Ridder.
A fascinating few weeks await. But if the Panthers did get Stroud out of this dramatic stage of the offseason, it’s arguably the best-case scenario outside of Bryce Young.
Trading with the Detroit Lions won’t cost Carolina nearly as much compared to others. But as stated previously, you’re leaving fate to chance by doing so.
And this is a luxury the Panthers simply don’t have.